what you focus on you create more of
This quote from Queen Brene' Brown has been sitting on my counter since December-- mostly because it took so long to string together all the letters. 🤣 But also because it is something I need to be reminded of on a regular basis, especially these days.
Being separated from each other yet still trying to stay connected through social media, text, FaceTime, Zoom, and phone calls, there is a lot of room for error. It is easy to perceive a comment in a different way it was intended. If we can adopt this mindset of "I am going to assume he or she had the best intentions, even though it doesn't feel that way," we relieve ourselves of the stress and the burden that we may have put upon ourselves otherwise. It really and truly is a game changer.
I had an interesting experience with this about a month ago-- we were taking a walk and came upon a man in front of a church doing some weeding. I happily greeted him, and he merely grunted a "hello" in my general direction. "Man, if I was interested in visiting that church, and that was my first impression of the people who go there, I may just change my mind," I snapped aloud. My husband quickly paraphrased Queen Brene's quote back to me.
First of all, I was surprised and impressed that he paid any attention to what I put on that board. Secondly, I was humbled and ashamed of my reaction. Bruce continued by saying, "You don't know-- he could have just lost his wife or maybe he is not feeling well." I quickly changed my tune and made a mental note to be more mindful.
The kindness that I then felt for the stranger felt different in my own body and mind than when I was grouching about his lack of manners. In extending generosity for him, I was doing myself a favor as well. It's cool how it works that way. And guess what-- even if he had intended it in the way that I perceived it, I still have the option to extend him this generosity and and it still feels good in my body. It's a win-win no matter what.
The next time you feel yourself "bowin' up" as they say down here, take a deep breath and extend the most generous interpretation of the other person's actions, words and intentions. I promise it feels good. ❤
About the Author
Kim is a personal trainer, nutrition coach, and group fitness instructor. She is a mom of two grown kiddos, and a former elementary school teacher. Most days, she can be found training clients, prepping food, thinking about food, or writing about food. She is also obsessed with mindset and habits. She is a 9w1 on the enneagram.